Writing Portfolio: Five Essays on America
























I was talking to my Grandfather in his car on the way home from a hockey game one day. Some how we ended up on the subject on some family problems that were going on at that time. Of course like most grandparents he started the "back in my day" stories which I usually don't even listen to because they are repetative. However, he told me a story on this day that really caught my eye and ultimately shocked me.

One day when Ed, my Grandfahter, was only about twelve years old he went to school. His parents had died when he was very young so he had been living with an aunt and uncle who themselves were only about twenty years old. That day while he was in school I guess they decided that they couldn't take care of him any more. When he came home from school he had come to find that his family had just moved without him. The house was nearly empty and he had absolutely no where to go. That night he slept under a table in the cold deserted house. Eventually Josie, another aunt of his took care of him.

However he still really had to take care of himself. He had to drop out of school and get a job to take care of himself and his siblings who Josie had been previously taking care of. With all his hard work, my Grandfather strived to better his life. He is now retired from a great job and living a great life bringing up a great family. This story has personal signifigance in my life because it reminds me that no matter how hard your life is, there is always some one else whos life is even harder.


















Have you ever felt that you did something extremely good in in life  yet it was completely ignored.  Nature must feel the same anger that you do every day. Nature does so much for us and yet, we take it for granted.  The pond near my house in specific must feel very unappreciated.  Emerson said “ I will become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all.”  In this way  I will constantly put myself into this spot to find out and show the greatness that dwells  in this lonely spot in nature.
     This morning while I’m in my spot I begin to feel lonely.  There  is no one here.  Last night in my spot there were the constant sounds of birds chirping as well as an occasional car roaring by. As the trees begin to lose there leaves  the water begins to look sad.  All the beautiful color that once reflected of the cool water  has now turned to a dull brown.  There are now clumps of leaves that settle on the surface that weren’t there the week before.  It is amazing that people don’t  come to this place more often to observe its natural beauty.  Today it must be a lot colder than it was last night.  An  eerie fog is drifting over the now dark musty pond. At one time you could actually see fish swimming around in the water.  Now that the leaves cover the surface the pond almost seems lifeless.
     Today we see proof of the fact that humans don’t appreciate this place.  There is a now light brown Dunkin Donuts cup with decomposing leaves  within its mouth.  How could we let things so pure become polluted.  Also I see a man fishing across the way.  It would appear that this person appreciates  this place but I don’t think he does.  This cup wasn’t here yesterday or even earlier today.  The only thing I can think is that it is the mans cup.  I believe he takes this place for granted.  He uses it for a food time and some relaxation but at the same time he is destroying the lake. He doesn’t appreciate the lake. If he did he wouldn’t let it become dirty like this.
     This is not the only nature that is unappreciated.  We take advantage of animals the rain forests  as well as many ponds or lakes like this one.  What will become of these places or things.  It is amazing how we destroy things of such beauty.  Many animals are endangered,  rain forests are scarce, and so many lakes are becoming polluted.  If people realized the things that they are doing, America could be such a beautiful place












One day Dan Johnson stumbles out of bed and steps on his cat. He gets dreesed and then gets in the shower. He runs out the door half dressed and half asleep. As he backs out of his driveway he runs over a family of gnomes and nearly kills to ten year olds on the way to the bus stop. He finally gets to the street and hits a a cop car. He gets pulled over before he even gets to start driving.

    "Is there a problem officer." says Dano.  "Well not really, do you even realize that you killed a family of gnomes.  Oh yeah and I think you almost hit a couple of kids as well as my car."  "Excuse me but I think you hit me. We're going to have to exchange info." says Dano. The cop screams "Are you kidding me. Please step out of the car."

  He gives Dano a sobriety test and realizes he's not drunk. He always acts like this.  He gives him a $300 ticket for driving eradically and sends him off.

"Man I'm tired" says Dano " I'll have to slow down today"  He slows down to 50 mph. He picks up Mac to take him to school because the wheeles fell off his car.  He speeds down the street again and comes to a red light that was red for a good 5 seconds.
   "It's red " says Mac.  " It's red......It' red!"  " If I didn't see it it's not illeagall.  And by the way it was yellow and yellow means speed up.

  He finally gets to school and sideswipes all the cars on the right side of the parking lot. Mac is in tears crying for his mommy afraid for his life.

  "You just hit those cars"  cries Mr. Crushyamore. "How are they gonna know it was me." says Dano. I want my mommie" cries Mac. See me after school for jug." says Crushyamore.  Dano just plainly says no.

Later that day Snore asks Dano what happend on the way to school today. "Nothing really" says Dano











  I like poems that deal with scary or mystical feelings. One poet that writes these types of poems is Emily Dickinson. In her poem" Because I Could Not Stop For Death"  it shows an instance of the many times that she writes from beyond the grave.  Because of this point, the poem  grabs my attention because it brings about a mystical or errie feeling.

       Dickinson uses suspense  and even terror in her poems to bring about this feeling of a certain horror. Just the fact that you picture death showing up on her door step in a carriage could send a chill down your spine.  "Because I could not stop for death, it kindly stopped for me. The carriage held but jut ourselves and imortality." When you think about this line it definately gives off  mystical  thoughts of what is to come after death. Things that you might not have thought of before.

      In this poem she speaks of death as an all- encompasing absense of life. It is very creepy to think of how Death takes her through her town and takes her on a journey toward eternity. This again could make someone nervous in thinking about the after life.  "We passed the fields of grazing grain-we passed the setting sun." ...."I first submissed the horses heads were toward eternity."  This almost shows you a calm side of dying on your way to eternity but leaves you with a mysteriuous thought. Were does this journey lead to or end.

   The way the poem gives death human characteristics also leaves you with an eerie feeling. However we see a different figue that we are used to. We usually hear about death as in the Grim Reaper. A scary figure carrying a sycle. Showing no mercy and forcing unsuspecting people to there after life.  Death in this poem is more relaxing. "Because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me- The carriage held but just ourselves and imortality." This kind of gives you the sense that you shouldn't be afraid of death.  There is not an evil thing waiting to snatch you from humanity. Death kindly acknowledges you and brings you on you journey towards eternity.

   Most of all I like this poem because it is different.  It is not about beaty and flowers and romance like you would expect from a poem.  It is about darkness and death  and afterlife.  All of these things tend to bring terror, or an uneasy feeling to our minds. However in an odd way, this poem would still be considered by many to be very beautiful.























   Polo is a ball game played on horseback on an outdoor or indoor field. Its rules resemble the rules that are used in hockey.  Two teams of four players each try to drive the ball through their opponents goal posts using mallets. Polo originated in Iran about 4,000 years ago. The modern game originated in India around 1862 finally being introduced in England in 1869.(ENCARTA)
Fifteen year old amateur Guillermo Sapo speaks of what it’s like to get a chance to play with some of the best players saying ”I learned a lot playing with Memo Gracida, and it’s a great experience playing with these players.”  (<proplayersedition.com>)Though most players would feel pressure playing with the big names, Sapo says it’s easier than playing Junior Polo. “It’s easier when you are playing with a good player because you learn at the same rate.”  (<poloplayersedition.com>)He will be playing in a Masters Tournament in Palmero in April and has a bright future ahead of him.

     Most people wouldn’t think that polo players would have to be great athletes. Charles Muldoon says “Polo players are some of the best athletes around playing in such dangerous conditions.”  People can be hurt in so many ways.  You could be hit with a mallet or in the worst case tossed from a horse. Charlie is one of the best pros in the United States. He has competed at some of the highest levels of pro nationally and internationally. He one the 1999 20 goal Texas open, and the 2001 26 goal USPA gold cup. He earns a  6goals rating out of ten (ten being the best).
     Gwen Rizzo calls amateur Guillermo  Sapo who jumped from 3 to a 6 goal rating in one day “the future of ten goaldom.  The next Tiger Woods of Polo.”(PPE.com)  A writer for the Polo Players  Edition.com she follows many stories of the pros or this case stories of the upcoming stars of Polo.  She shows great enthusiasm towards the game  saying “it is an extremely exiting and breathtaking sport… whether it is pros or amateurs you are always in for a special time.”
     Though considered to be mostly an English game it is also well known in America. Even though it is not quite as popular as say football or baseball  it  to can be seen to stand for something that every American strives for. A group of people working together to be the best that they can possibly be. Some of those most hard work is put in to playing sports like this. People go through some very tough times and suffer major consequences. There is no better way to prepare ourselves for the same conditions that we will inevitably face in life.